Video of Anchorage garbage truck driver chasing moose sparks outrage

Alaska wildlife authorities said they’re investigating a potential wildlife harassment incident after a video surfaced on social media over the holiday weekend of a garbage truck chasing a moose down an Anchorage neighborhood street.

Northern Waste, the waste-hauling company that owns the truck, launched an internal investigation after it received the video of the encounter from the person who recorded it on Friday, said Sara Jost, who handles business development and community outreach for the company.

The incident was a first for the 7-year-old company, which quickly terminated the “rogue employee” who was the sole operator of the truck, she said. It plans to provide additional wildlife training for drivers in the future, she said in an interview Tuesday.

“We have a zero-tolerance policy for recklessness and hazing of wildlife,” said Jost.

“We were disgusted by this one person’s bad decision and in our eyes we took the highest level of disciplinary action promptly,” she said. “We’re committed to the highest level of safety and respect to our community, neighbors and wildlife.”

Jost said the video was originally posted on the Nextdoor site Friday. The incident appears to have occurred in the Bayshore/Klatt neighborhood off the Seward Highway in South Anchorage, she said.

The recording shows what appears to be a yearling moose sprinting away from a fast-moving garbage truck down a long stretch of the street. The truck doesn’t appear to meaningfully slow during the 15-second recorded encounter, until the truck rapidly approaches a stop sign and the moose careens out of the way up a snow berm. The video ends with the truck stopped and the moose walking away around the corner.


[Anchorage coffee shop owner accused of feeding moose faces fine]

The poster on Nextdoor asked: “Who taught this driver that this was okay?? I called Northern Waste and sent this video to them, they were not happy.”

The post generated close to 300 comments, many expressing anger with the driver and sympathy for the moose.

Cory Stantorf, Anchorage-area wildlife biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, said the agency is in the early stages of collecting facts about what transpired and is working with Alaska Wildlife Troopers. He said wildlife authorities would also work with Northern Waste after the company contacted the agency over the weekend.

Stantorf said it’s against Alaska law to “harass or unnaturally change an animal’s behavior.” He said any potential violation for the driver would be determined by the Alaska Wildlife Troopers.

Jost with Northern Waste declined to release the driver’s name.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT – INCIDENT REPORT **UPDATE #2** In response to phone calls that have continued to come in...

Posted by Northern Waste on Sunday, December 31, 2023

“The Alaska Wildlife Troopers are aware of the video and are investigating to determine if any Alaska laws or regulations were violated,” troopers spokesman Austin McDaniel said in an email.

“At this time, no citations have been issued,” McDaniel said. “The Alaska Wildlife Troopers would like to remind Alaskans that moose may aggressively defend low snow spaces they occupy during this record-setting snow season and to not approach a moose on a plowed sidewalk or trail unless it’s clear the animal has moved far off.”

McDaniel said troopers declined to “cite a statute or regulation that was potentially violated until Troopers determine if one was actually violated and a citation is issued or an arrest is made.”

Northern Waste, founded in 2017 by two Alaskans, spoke with the state agencies about the incident Tuesday, Jost said. Training for drivers is being scheduled with Fish and Game within the next week, she said.

“We’ve not had to deal with this type of thing ever,” Jost said. “We are going to communicate and participate in any way that’s required.”

Jost emphasized that members of the public should call her with any questions at 907-522-0122. She said she fielded about 10 such calls over the New Year’s weekend, after including her contact information in social media posts over the weekend that outlined the company’s response.

“We appreciate that everyone brought this to our attention,” she said.

Alex DeMarban

Alex DeMarban is a longtime Alaska journalist who covers business, the oil and gas industries and general assignments. Reach him at 907-257-4317 or